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The Prank Phone Call(S) MAG
"What do you want to do tonight, Alicia?"
"Oh, I don't know, Dave. My parents are going out so I thought maybe we could rent a movie and you could come over."
"Mmmm, sounds good. A quiet evening with no interruptions."
"Yeah, ha ha."
"Well, I'll call you when I get home from basketball practice, O.K.? I should be done around 7."
"All right, see you later."
Alicia picked up her school bag and started walking home. She wondered what movie to rent...Maybe "Flatliners," or some scary movie. Yeah, that would be good.
She got a snack from the kitchen and then idly wandered about the house picking up random articles and putting them away. She washed the dinner dishes from the night before and then went up to her room and turned up the radio. Then she settled down on her bed with a magazine.
A few hours later she was awakened by the faint ring of the telephone. She must have dozed off.
I wonder how long it's been ringing, she thought, trying to find the phone. Whoever invented cordless phones shouldn't have. Finally she found it underneath a pile of unfolded laundry lying on the bed in her parents' room.
The sound of heavy, exaggerated breathing reached her ears.
"I am waiting..."
She couldn't place the muffled voice.
She hung up.
I refuse to put up with this, she thought. Then the phone rang again. She hesitated, what if it were her parents calling to see how she was?
"I will be there tonight..."
"Who is this?" she asked.
"Don't you know me?"
She hung up again.
Never again will I play a prank on anyone, she thought. I never realized how it feels to be on the other end. A half hour later the phone rang again, and she picked it up hoping it was Dave.
"Are you alone?"
"Are you feeling lonely?"
"I am sick and tired of this. My father's a police officer and I can have him trace this call so..."
"I know you're alone, and I know your father is not a policeman."
Alicia slammed down the phone. Suddenly she wished her parents were home, or that Dave would call to say when he was coming over.
The phone rang again.
She decided to call Diane to get away from the lonely sound of the phone ringing. For once she was glad she didn't have call waiting.
"Hi Diane, this is Alicia."
"Oh, hi, I thought you and Dave were going out tonight."
"Yeah, well, we're doing something, but he hasn't called yet."
"Oh, I tried calling you a half hour ago to see if you wanted to do something with Jeff and me, but your phone was busy."
"Yeah, that's why I called. I've been getting some weird prank phone calls."
"Really, what were they like?"
"It was a man, I don't know who, but he asked me if I was alone, and he kept calling."
"Well, I'm sure it's nothing to worry about. I've had a few prank phone calls in my life, you know, the, AIs your refrigerator running?...go catch it!'"
"Well, these weren't like that."
"You can be sure that if you're found dead tomorrow morning, I'll relate this conversation to the police for a clue. Ha ha ha."
Alicia forced a laugh.
"Yeah, well, I'm going to call Dave and see what's up."
"O.K., I'll call you tomorrow."
"All right, bye-bye."
"Hi, is Dave there?"
"Hi, this is..."
"Oh, hi. I tried calling you for fifteen minutes but your line was busy, so I gave up."
"Well, I had some weird phone calls, and I mean weird."
"That's what I was calling about. It was...I was playing a joke, I thought you'd recognize my voice."
"It was a joke! I was going to say it was me, but you hung up."
"That last call was really scary, Dave!"
"How could it have been when you hung up right away?"
"The one after that."
"What??? I only called two ti-"
"You know, when you're the one playing the trick, you don't think anything of it because you know that you're a decent, normal person. But the person on the other line doesn't know that."
"I'm sorry, but I only-"
"Never mind. When are you coming over?"
"I'll be there in half an hour, O.K.?"
"Yeah, I rented AFlatliners,' but I don't really feel like seeing that now."
"Ha, ha, ha. Well, I'll pick up a good comedy on the way over."
"I will, bye."
A few seconds later the phone rang again. What now? she thought.
"I'll be there soon..."
"Dave, this is not funny!"
Ten minutes later she heard a knock at the door and when she looked through the side window, she saw the back of a leather jacket and a glimpse of a Domino's Pizza box.
Oh good, he's here, she thought. That was nice of him to pick up dinner. I hope he remembered I don't like mushrooms.
As she opened the door a black leather glove grabbed her by the throat and the pizza box fell to her feet. She tried to brace her weight against the door, but she lost her balance as the door flew open and knocked her off her feet. As she got up, she found herself staring into the eyes of a stranger. n
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